Andrew Wilkinson

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Andrew Wilkinson
Andrew Wilkinson 2015.jpg
Leader of the Opposition in British Columbia
In office
February 3, 2018 – November 21, 2020
Preceded byRich Coleman
Succeeded byShirley Bond
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Vancouver-Quilchena
In office
May 14, 2013 – February 17, 2022
Preceded byColin Hansen
Succeeded byKevin Falcon
Leader of the BC Liberal Party
In office
February 3, 2018 – November 23, 2020
Preceded byRich Coleman (interim)
Succeeded byShirley Bond (interim)
Attorney General of British Columbia
In office
June 12, 2017 – July 17, 2017
PremierChristy Clark
Preceded bySuzanne Anton
Succeeded byDavid Eby
Minister of Advanced Education
In office
December 18, 2014 – June 12, 2017
Preceded byAmrik Virk
Succeeded byLinda Reid
Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
In office
June 10, 2013 – December 17, 2014
PremierChristy Clark
Preceded byBen Stewart
Succeeded byAmrik Virk
Personal details
Born1957/58 (age 64–66)
Brisbane, Australia[1]
Political partyBritish Columbia Liberal Party (provincial)
Liberal Party of Canada (federal)
Residence(s)Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Alma mater
  • Physician
  • lawyer

Andrew Wilkinson KC is an Australian-born Canadian politician. He is the former leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party,[2] and served as the leader of British Columbia's Official Opposition. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 2013 provincial election and re-elected in 2017 and 2020.[3] He represented the electoral district of Vancouver-Quilchena.

Wilkinson served as Minister of Justice and Attorney General from June 12, 2017, until an NDP minority government was sworn in the following month. He previously served as Minister of Advanced Education from December 18, 2014 [4] and the Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services from June 10, 2013. He was the deputy minister of the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development from 2003 to 2006,[5] where he was responsible for economic issues, trade and tourism. He also served as deputy minister for Intergovernmental Relations in the Premier's Office for two years from 2001 to 2003.[6]

Wilkinson led the BC Liberals during the 2020 British Columbia general election under the slogan Restore Confidence, Rebuild BC. The platform was centred on a temporary suspension of sales tax, expanded child care and seniors' housing, expanded infrastructure spending, and introducing competition in the auto insurance market.[7] The campaign was marked by controversies, including the ouster of Liberal candidate Laurie Throness, who compared birth control to eugenics, and sexist remarks made by Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite towards NDP MLA Bowinn Ma.[8][9][10] Wilkinson resigned as leader following the election, in which the BC Liberals lost 14 seats. On November 23, 2020, the BC Liberal Caucus elected Shirley Bond as interim leader.[11] On February 17, 2022, he resigned from the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to allow for newly-elected BC Liberal leader Kevin Falcon to run in a by-election.[12]

Early life and education[edit]

Wilkinson was born in Brisbane, Australia. His family immigrated to Canada when he was four and he grew up in Kamloops.[13]

Wilkinson attended medical school at the University of Alberta. Three years into medical school, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford where he obtained his first law degree. He then returned to the University of Alberta to finish his M.D.[14]

After medical school, Wilkinson worked for a few years as a doctor in Campbell River, Lillooet and Dease Lake before making the switch to law.[14]

He received his LL.B. from Dalhousie University in 1987 and was called to the British Columbia bar in 1988. Wilkinson’s legal practice was in litigation, including defending doctors, with numerous trials and appeals, including the Supreme Court of Canada. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.

Wilkinson was president of the BC Civil Liberties Association and the BC Mountaineering Club in the early 1990s.[15]

In 2006, after leaving his post as a deputy minister in Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government, Wilkinson joined the Vancouver office of McCarthy Tétrault, a major national law firm, where he practised as a litigator.


Wilkinson served as the president of the BC Liberal Party from 1998 to 2001.[5] After the party formed the largest majority government in the province's history in 2001, party leader Gordon Campbell appointed Wilkinson to be the deputy minister responsible for intergovernmental relations.[16][6]

In 2003, he was transferred to the position of deputy minister for the Ministry of Small Business & Economic Development. In 2006, he returned to the private sector by becoming a partner in the Litigation Group of McCarthy Tétrault[17] He remained active in Liberal politics in the intervening years, having served as riding president of Federal MP Joyce Murray and briefly as BC campaign co-chair to Michael Ignatieff's federal election campaign.

With the 2013 election approaching and Colin Hansen retiring in his Vancouver-Quilchena riding, the 54-year old Wilkinson stood for the BC Liberal nomination. He was contested by Vancouver City Councillor Suzanne Anton[18] but won the contest, with Anton being shifted to the Vancouver-Fraserview riding where another BC Liberal incumbent was retiring.[19] He easily won the Vancouver-Quilchena riding in the 2013 British Columbia general election with over 60% of the vote as his party won the election and formed a majority government.

40th Parliament[edit]

As the 40th Parliament of British Columbia began, Premier Christy Clark appointed Wilkinson as the Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services on June 10, 2013.[20] In the role, he was responsible for the selloff of government land.[21] Amongst the sales was 5750 Panorama Drive in Surrey to Fairborne Lands LTD that had been previously earmarked as the site for a new hospital by premier Gordon Campbell.[22][23][24] Wilkinson also oversaw the designing of the BC Services Card to combine drivers' licenses and CareCards.[25] On December 17, 2014, Premier Clark had Wilkinson and Amrik Virk exchanged Ministries and Wilkinson became the new Minister of Advanced Education.[26] In this role, he introduced his first two bills, both on February 11, 2015. The Chartered Professional Accountants Act (Bill 4) merged chartered accountants, certified general accountants and management accountants into one professional regulatory body. The Private Training Act (Bill 7) repealed the 37th Parliament's Private Career Training Institutions Act and moved regulation to the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education, ending the industry's ability to self-regulate.[27] In 2016, he introduced one final bill before the parliament ended, the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act which requires all public post-secondary institutions establish a sexual misconduct policy.[28]

Following a January, 2017 article in The New York Times entitled "British Columbia: The 'Wild West' of Canadian Political Cash"[29] Wilkinson was delegated to speak on behalf of the BC Liberal party, saying: "No one gets special treatment by being a campaign donor," and "It's a system that works." B.C. has since banned corporate and Union donations. During the 41st Parliament Wilkinson sponsored several private member bills. On September 13, 2017, he introduced the Election Amendment Act, 2017 (Bill M-201) which proposed to ban corporate and union political donations, impose a $5,000 annual limit for political contributions by individuals, ban loans except from Canadian banks or credit unions and ban in-kind donations of staff.

41st Parliament[edit]

In the 2017 BC election Wilkinson again ran for office with the BC Liberal Party in the Vancouver-Quilchena riding and was reelected with 56% of the vote. The BC Liberal Party won the largest number of seats on election night but not enough to form a majority government. This led to their defeat on a confidence vote on June 29, 2017.[30] The NDP and the BC Greens came to an agreement to allow the NDP to form government.

During the 41st Parliament Wilkinson sponsored several private member bills. On September 13, 2017, he introduced the Election Amendment Act, 2017 (Bill M-201) which proposed to ban corporate and union political donations, impose a $5,000 annual limit for political contributions by individuals, ban loans except from Canadian banks or credit unions and ban in-kind donations of staff. While the bill did not proceed, the provisions were adopted in a more comprehensive government bill, Election Amendment Act, 2017 (Bill 3) that same year.[31] On May 14, 2018, he introduced the Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax Act, 2018 (Bill M-217) which sought to make 50% of the profit made in selling a condominium before it is available for occupancy subject to income tax. Again, while the bill did not proceed, the government, in Real Estate Development Marketing Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 25), that same year made these contracts subject to the property transfer tax.[32][33]

BC Liberal leadership race[edit]

Once the BC Liberal Party leadership election was underway to replace Christy Clark, who had announced her resignation on July 28, 2017, Wilkinson announced his candidacy on September 25. He made the announcement at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Coal Harbour with fellow BC Liberal MLAs Michelle Stilwell, Mary Polak and John Rustad, Doug Clovechok and Tom Shypitka endorsing him.[34] He was eventually endorsed by 13 MLAs, the most of any candidate. On the initial ballot he placed third, behind Dianne Watts and Michael Lee, but the contest was decided by ranked voting so that by the fifth and final ballot Wilkinson won with 53% and became leader of the BC Liberal Party and the official opposition on February 3, 2018.[35] At its subsequent annual convention, the party under Wilkinson unveiled a new brand identity with the slogan "Opportunity for All of B.C." to replace Clark's "Today's BC Liberals".[36]

Electoral reform[edit]

In the 2018 British Columbia electoral reform referendum, the BC Liberal Party under Wilkinson's leadership registered third-party advertising sponsors to support retaining the existing First-past-the-post voting system and reject a proportional representation system.[37] On November 8 he participated in a province-wide televised debate against Premier John Horgan who argued in favour of proportional representation.[38] The result of the referendum was a defeat for the NDP, with 61% voting in favour of continuing with the current first-past-the-post voting system.


On October 10, 2020, the host of This is Vancolour, Mo Amir, released footage of a BC Liberal roast for retiring MLA Ralph Sultan.[39] On the leaked footage, BC Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite can be seen making sexist comments of BC NDP candidate Bowinn Ma.[40] The video prompted Wilkinson, Thornthwaite and other BC Liberal Candidates to issue public apologies.[41][42]

Electoral history[edit]

2020 British Columbia general election: Vancouver-Quilchena
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Andrew Wilkinson 12,157 56.04 +0.08 $26,851.98
New Democratic Heather McQuillan 6,197 28.56 +0.53 $3,729.58
Green Michael Barkusky 3,341 15.40 +0.58 $659.92
Total valid votes 21,695 99.49
Total rejected ballots 112 0.51 +0.01
Turnout 21,807 56.52 –5.88
Registered voters 38,584
Liberal hold Swing –0.23
Source: Elections BC[43][44]
2017 British Columbia general election: Vancouver-Quilchena
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Andrew Wilkinson 12,464 55.96 −8.36 $64,283
New Democratic Madeline Lalonde 6,244 28.03 +2.72 $9,017
Green Michael Barkusky 3,301 14.82 +7.42 $4,481
Libertarian William Morrison 265 1.19 $346
Total valid votes 22,274 99.50
Total rejected ballots 112 0.50 +0.02
Turnout 22,386 62.39 +2.95
Registered voters 35,878
Liberal hold Swing −5.54
Source: Elections BC[45]
2013 British Columbia general election: Vancouver-Quilchena
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Andrew Wilkinson 14,496 64.32 −5.91 $99,877
New Democratic Nicholas Scapillati 5,705 25.31 +4.57 $30,366
Green Damian Kettlewell 1,667 7.40 −1.64 $2,267
No Affiliation Bill Clarke 671 2.98 $14,738
Total valid votes 22,539 99.52
Total rejected ballots 108 0.48 −0.09
Turnout 22,647 59.45 +1.78
Registered voters 38,095
Liberal hold Swing -5.24
Source: Elections BC[46]


  1. ^ Chan, Cheryl (Feb 17, 2013). "Andrew Wilkinson beats Suzanne Anton as Vancouver-Quilchena candidate". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia News. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Andrew Wilkinson elected leader of B.C. Liberals". CBC News, February 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "Vancouver: Eby defeats Clark in Point Grey, Sullivan takes False Creek". The Province. May 15, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  4. ^ "Andrew Wilkinson-Today's BC Liberals" Archived 2017-04-09 at the Wayback Machine. BC Liberal Website, April 8, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Woo, Andrea (May 6, 2013). "Candidate Profile: Outdoor pursuits factor into Liberal candidate's political thinking". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Smythe, Michael (September 4, 2001). "B.C.ers don't seem to mind a bit of bland for a change". The Province. p. A6.
  7. ^[bare URL PDF]
  8. ^ MacLeod, Andrew (19 October 2020). "The Woes of Andrew Wilkinson". The Tyee.
  9. ^ "Vaughn Palmer: Liberals have stumbled through this campaign". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2020-10-24.
  10. ^ Sajan, Bhinder (16 October 2020). "BC Liberal leader facing internal backlash amid growing list of candidate controversies". CTV News.
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  14. ^ a b Shaw, Rob (September 25, 2017). "Wilkinson polishes rural roots as he launches Liberal leadership bid". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  15. ^ "Outdoor pursuits factor into Liberal candidate's political thinking". Retrieved 2020-01-16.
  16. ^ Beatty, Jim (June 7, 2001). "Liberal insider named to top post: Andrew Wilkinson best person for the job, premier says". The Vancouver Sun. p. A2.
  17. ^ Beatty, Jim (February 23, 2006). "McCarthy Tétrault Announcement". The Globe and Mail. p. B5.
  18. ^ Howell, Mike (October 17, 2012). "Suzanne Anton sets sights on Vancouver-Quilchena". Vancouver Courier. p. 1.
  19. ^ Woo, Andrea (March 13, 2013). "BC Liberals nominate Suzanne Anton". The Globe and Mail. p. S3.
  20. ^ Lee, Jeff (June 8, 2013). "Christy Clark unveils new cabinet". The Vancouver Sun. p. A8.
  21. ^ Culbert, Lori (June 14, 2019). "Sold on your behalf: 164 B.C. schools and hospitals, agricultural and industrial lots worth $1 billion". The Vancouver Sun.
  22. ^ "Update: Appraisal of Vacant Land Located at 5750 Panorama Drive, Surrey, BC" (PDF). Shared Services BC. September 6, 2013.
  23. ^ Shaw, Rob (April 20, 2015). "Market drives prices for surplus land, B.C. Liberals say". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  24. ^ Zytaruk, Tom (December 9, 2019). "Update: Surrey getting a new hospital, in Cloverdale". Surrey Now-Leader.
  25. ^ Shaw, Rob (April 4, 2014). "B.C.'s new ID cards will not be linked to transit, monetary transactions". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  26. ^ Shaw, Rob (December 19, 2014). "Advanced education minister moved". The Vancouver Sun. p. A4.
  27. ^ Steffenhagen, Janet (March 6, 2015). "Legislature seeks tougher regulations for private career-training schools". Business in Vancouver. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  28. ^ Kines, Lindsay (April 28, 2016). "B.C. colleges to require sexual misconduct policies". Times - Colonist. p. A4.
  29. ^ Levin, Dan (14 January 2017). "British Columbia: The 'Wild West' of Canadian Political Cash". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  30. ^ "B.C. Liberal government loses confidence vote 44-42, sparking either NDP government or election". CBC News. June 29, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  31. ^ Shaw, Rob (September 14, 2017). "Liberals table donation reform bill, again". The Vancouver Sun. p. A1.
  32. ^ Fletcher, Tom (May 14, 2018). "Opposition leader calls for 'flipping tax' on condo capital gains". The News. Abbotsford, British Columbia.
  33. ^ Thibault, Alissa (2020-01-21). "Vancouver ranked world's second-least affordable housing market—again". British Columbia. Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  34. ^ "Former advanced education minister Andrew Wilkinson announces bid to lead B.C. Liberals". CBC News. September 25, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  35. ^ Shaw, Rob (February 5, 2018). "How Andrew Wilkinson won the B.C. Liberal leadership race". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  36. ^ Little, Simon (November 3, 2018). "BC Liberals unveil new logo, brand identity pitching 'Opportunity for all of B.C.'". Global News. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  37. ^ Little, Simon (March 11, 2019). "Proportional representation backers outspent opponents by nearly $500K in failed B.C. referendum". Global News. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  38. ^ Kane, Laura (November 9, 2018). "Horgan, Wilkinson clash in electoral reform debate". CTV News. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  39. ^ "Mo Amir ॐ This is Vancolour". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  40. ^ Vikander, Tessa (October 11, 2020). "Leaked video of BC Liberals insulting NDP's Bowinn Ma shows sexism, observers say".
  41. ^ Palmer, Vaughn (October 13, 2020). "Vaughn Palmer: Wilkinson, Liberals, stumble over handling of 'sexist comments' controversy". Vancouver Sun.
  42. ^ Ip, Stephanie (October 11, 2020). "B.C. Liberal's Jane Thornthwaite apologizes for sexualized comments about NDP's Bowinn Ma". Vancouver Sun.
  43. ^ "Statement of Votes — 42nd Provincial General Election" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  44. ^ "Election Financing Reports". Elections BC. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  45. ^ "2017 Provincial General Election" (PDF). Elections BC. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  46. ^ "Statement of Votes - 40th Provincial General Election" (PDF). Elections BC. 2013-05-14. Retrieved 2020-09-21.

External links[edit]